All mental health professionals practicing in Mexico must hold proper credentials from their home country. In the US, Mental Health Professionals are classified into 4 categories:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker: LCSW: holds a master’s degree in clinical social work. Emphasis is on primary service in psychosocial diagnosis, assessment and treatment, client advocacy, consultation, evaluation and research.
Marriage and Family Therapist: MFT or LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist holds a master’s degree in psychology, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, or marital and family therapy. Emphasis is on primary service in counseling and psychotherapy from a variety of therapeutic orientations with individuals, couples, families, and groups.
Psychologist: Possesses a doctoral degree in psychology or a related field with a license to practice therapy and conducts psychological testing and research.
Psychiatrist: medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry. Emphasis on primary service in prescribing and monitoring psychotropic medications and sometimes offers psychotherapy.
A Psychiatrist is the only mental health professional who can prescribe medications. When going to a pharmacy to fill your prescription, insist on getting only the medication prescribed. Generic drugs may have a carrying agent that might react differently in your body. “Similares” may be a weaker dose or a different drug altogether.
Other Mental Health Practitioners: There are several non-licensed categories of mental health practitioners which may include modalities like hypnosis, life coaching, stress management, bio-feedback, and spiritual counseling. Most of these practices require training and certification. Discuss the credentials of any mental health practitioner you are considering.